I found my first ear hair the other day. YIKES! There are certain measuring sticks in life and this is one of those that let you know that you are at least aging if not already old. So after the shock had subsided and the tears had dried, I spent not a small amount of time in introspection, trying to answer the constant questions that were raging through my head. Questions like what does this mean? How does this affect me? What importance do I attach to this event? Does this change who I am or where I’m going? You see introspection is like that, it makes you think about your life as an ongoing and where am I going process, rather than a day to day process.
Introspection is the examination or observation of one’s own mental and emotional processes, it is also called soul searching or self-reflection. We should all engage in introspection on a regular basis and by regular, I mean at least quarterly and I think so for the following reasons:
1. We are creatures of habit, and we should be making sure our habits are moving us in a positive direction as well as helping us grow.
2. Setting goals in life has shown to be an indicator of success and regular inspection of those goals to make sure you are achieving, resetting, or setting new goals will help ensure that success.
3. Day to day activities can sometimes overwhelm us. By stepping back a bit and seeing the big picture and our place within it, we can take a deep breath, realize that there is always time to grow and not be so buffeted by the sometimes daily winds of change.
Some people engage in introspection through daily meditation, some find a quiet place every once in awhile and think about who they are and how are they doing, others may use trusted friends or confidants to help them assess themselves. It really doesn’t matter how you do it or even who you utilize to help you do it, what is important is that YOU DO IT!
Two of the most important questions anyone can ask themselves is who are you and where are you going? All too often we don’t go there because the answers we get show us that change is needed and being creatures of habit, we don’t like change because it usually means we have to give up something.
My answer to that is to first change your perspective, that is to say, instead of seeing change as something you have to give up or lose, instead ask what do you have to gain from change and how can you grow from this experience. That simple change in perspective can be life changing as we have seen from our many leadership classes. We literally have seen miraculous turnarounds and while it is humbling to be a part of, it really shows the power of the little things that can turn into huge things.
Leadership also requires introspection, the ability to go outside yourself and take care of and help grow others is one of the most frustrating and yet rewarding challenges you may ever take on, but in order to do that right, you should be actively and regularly engaged in checking yourself, your policies and your team.
Make change your friend and use introspection to make it positive and growth oriented. It’s never been more important than now to use introspection to build a great life from a solid foundation and to help others grow great lives the same way. So go grow a great life and go grow a great team. Be safe out there my friends!